So i’m in the process of making a till for my hand planes and thought I’d dress it up a bit by applying some moulding to cover the edges of the material I’m using. I had a left over 10’ length of 3/4” x 1/4” trim from a previous job so I decided to use it as the moulding material. As I pondered the project I decided to use my scratch-stock to make the moulding a little more interesting. Long story short, I got out my scratch-stock and went right to work. I tested what I wanted to do on what was left over after cutting all the moulding pieces to rough lenth.
Here is the profile I decided on;
To create this profile I’m using two blades-a beading blade and a cove blade.
What I want to discuss is how I use my scratch-stock. There are a number of ways to make and use scratch-stocks. They can be very elaborate or very simple. Here are a few examples;
The design I chose came from a Shop Notes magazine. You can view it here.
There seems to be two primary uses for a scratch-stock. One use is for creating various kinds of profiles on either the face or the edge of a work piece. The other use is for helping to create a recess for decorative inlay. At this point I only use mine for creating profiles – simple ones at that.
It needs to be said that I am no expert when it comes to using this kind of hand tool. I am only sharing my experience – limmited as it is.
Before using my scratch-stock I orient my workpiece in such a way so that I am pulling the scratch-stock with the grain of the wood. I realize that if my blades are sharp enough I should be able to go against the grain as well without any tear-out. I view the tool as I would a hand plane, thus I choose to go with the grain as much as possible.
Once I have my material oriented I take my scratch-stock in hand and begin to scratch away. The way the scratch-stock is held seems to matter. I normally hold mine at about 45 degrees as I pull the scratch-stock toward me. One thing I do that others may not is that I begin by doing the ends of the material first. Once the ends are done I work on the material in between. Right or wrong, this seems to work for me.
In this short video I demonstrate my method for using a scratch-stock;
Here are some graphics that I hope you will find helpful should you decide to use a scratch-stock (You may have to zoom in with your browser in order to read the instructions on the graphics);
Begin by holding the scratch-stock at an angle
Another thing I’d like to point out is that a scratch-stock is somewhat like plough plane in that once the desired depth is reached there is a noticeable difference in the sound created by the tool. When the blade has gone into the material as far as it can go there will no longer be the sound of the blade removing material. I know that seems obvious but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Well, I think I’m going to wrap this up. If I have anything more to say about the matter I’ll make another post. I’d really like to hear your thought on this matter. If you use a scratch-stock I’d love to hear about your experience.
Thank you for your time. Take care.
-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"